Tuesday, 30 March 2010

making, reading and baking, just a normal rainy day

The clocks went forward, now time flies by and before I know it, it's 1.51am again, I'm still up on the computer or knitting or reading in bed, sometimes I'm playing trivial pursuit with my lovely fella and nodding off on his shoulder, the days blend into each other and I'm sure old man time has got his seconds and minutes mixed up.
Last night was horrid, my youngest got into our bed with tummy ache which turned into trips to the loo and being sick, he cried and cried, I couldn't help him, I just rubbed his head and snuggled up with him, eventually very early this morning we fell asleep, when he woke he was right as rain. I have spent today in a sleepy blur, feeling ratty and my head hurt. Now when all the children are fast asleep I'm wide awake and my mind is full of creative things and I'm sure I will dream tonight again and have a very naff sleep and tomorrow will be the same fast clock, hours lost blur.
On a more cheerful note my book arrived, its a fantastic, really lush book. It's by French General and it is ring binded so the pages don't close on you whilst your following a pattern, the texture of the cover relates as luxurious and like you know a treat is going to be inside... In the front cover there is this gorgeous envelope full of templates and patterns and alphabet transfers....
there are some basic patterns and some more trickier ones, I like the mix of it all, there are 30 designs for around the house including the much over used lavender heart! I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in sewing, shabby chic and romance because it is abundant with all three.

We have a problem, we have had it for too long, our beautiful cast iron bed is not very comfy when you sit up in it to read, your head ends up between the bars and your ears stick out the front, the other problem we have is the cushions on the bed, its a real ball ache finding somewhere to put them at night (that's not the floor) so I combined both problems and came up with a solution, introducing the "head bed cushion holding reading rest" - that's going to be copy righted hehe....
its actually much prettier in real life, I just used a vintage sheet, measured how long I wanted it across the bed, cut and edged the seams, added hearts filled with lavender to the front part, folded it in half and sewed it together to make a long bag shape, added four sets of satin ribbon to hang it with and then popped my cushions (the red bits sticking out) in it and now more sore heads! The extra cushion on the bed will end up on the floor probably because it won't fit!!.
My baking consisted of a lemon, poppy seed spelt loaf and a vegan carrot cake which was very yummy indeed. Off now to challenge my fellow to a quick game in bed -trivial pursuit ladies please!!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Blessed be, Spring and summer

And spring arose on the garden fair,
like the spirit of love felt everywhere
and each flower and herb on the earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest

Percy Bysshe Shelley, The sensitive plant

sunday catch up again!

This week we went to see the long anticipated (by me) Nanny Mcphee (small c big P) film, I was so excited more than the children I think. I loved the first film so very much, the costumes, the comedy and especially that house -oh my god the hallway with that blue paint, how gorgeous. I was slightly apprehensive as well because I wasn't sure this one would live up to the first but it did, I won't go into any detail in case any of you want to see it and it spoils it but it I will say it is worth watching and the comedy, costumes and set are all great and I want the shop drawers and the china and the tea dresses!! You will know which if you see it! After much fun and being busy every night I found Adam like this on the sofa after tea,
I have been thinking about Easter and all that comes with it, the eggs, the hot cross buns etc and felt a bit put off because of us being dairy free and not knowing what to do really, but alas Salisbury's online have dairy free Easter eggs - a bit expensive though and a friend told me Holland and Barrett health food shops have them too so its not all bad. Then my mother gave me a pile of magazine's and I found a recipe for hot cross buns in, I have always thought they are something that would be fiddly or time consuming to make but with a bit of changing the ingredients to suit us and a brave heart I made some - oh my they are delicious, I took this pic quick before they all disappeared, I will post the recipe in another post.

Two surprises this week came from the garden, the first this massive double yolked egg that one of my lovely chickens laid, it measured 8cm! ooh poor thing pushing that out.

The second I found today was a huge clump of frog spawn in our pond, it made me smile a great big cheesy grin knowing that life and spring and all that, is starting again.
We went back to the zoo again, this time our eldest, James came with us, he's 15 and didn't really want to go out with us but he really enjoyed himself and he was running around with a joyous grin with the other two, quite forgetting that "someone might see him"!.

This is the best pic I could get of the lion, he kept parading up and down but I think there is a delay on the camera and each time I cut a bit of his head off the snap.

These fellows are so funny, Jackass penguins, this enclosure has been modernised and is really great to watch them when they swim, one kept following Chris' black and white stripy glove when he had it on the glass.
Lastly Bruce the very smelly, huge and noisy pig just because he made us all smile with his grumpy face and grunts.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

sunday catch up

This week we have mostly been learning to play star wars on the keyboard... Making yummy carrot and coriander soup that we had with some home baked wholemeal bread...
been to the zoo again seeing all the animals we missed last time...

we went to the trough of bowland with our very good friends and had a fantastic day....

played at dunslop bridge in the river, we saw huge dead salmon apparently they swim up this river to lay eggs and then die, its like the ultimate sacrifice. We also saw loads of ducks and broken duck eggs, Chris was so happy that my friend found an in tact one and we brought it home and ever since he has been incubating it and turning it, he is so excited that we might have our own duckling....

Went to Chipping and saw the water wheel, ate our lunch and went off again, Chris managed to find some sycamore seeds that had started to grow so he planted them when we got home.
We also went ice skating with the home ed group, that was lots of fun, Adam was especially keen to go back as soon as we can. We went up to Lancaster too and went to a brand new home ed group, not sure if we will keep going though as it is early on in the day.
We also had some crappy news that we have been reported for having chickens and that we are encouraging mice into the neighbours house, we have had the chickens for almost a year and the mice have been coming on and off for the past 7 years - you do the math, I'm fuming about it all, we have been told not to compost anymore either as that attracts them and also that we have to pay for a van to collect our chicken manure, we are not meant to use is on our veg garden! I'm so sick of the rules, I'm desperate for us to move even more now as I feel we can't live how we want too in this urban environment.

Monday, 15 March 2010

The zoo, mothers day and colds!

we have mostly been going to the zoo last week, we got a yearly pass and enjoyed it so much, the zoo has really changed a lot since I last went years ago and they have changed some of the enclosures and the changes are awesome, I didn't used to agree with zoo's and captivity but the conservation work they do is inspiring and if these animals were left in the wild they would be hunted, our zoo also rescues animals, the elephants were part of a circus troop and now enjoy there days playing outside and just being elephants. It has been a great influence on our school work to as the boys have learnt so much by just reading the placards by the enclosures, we have been drawing these animals and researching more at home, I took loads of pictures and by far this one of the capybara is my favourite, she looks so grumpy but just after this she started making this purring clicking sound like she was so happy! Also this I have been cooking up some lovely and very tasty recipes form the new Rachel Allen cookbook, it was less than half price in WH Smiths so I couldn't resist!
I have finally finished a scarf I have been knitting for Chris and have just finished a hat for Adam, I really want a new project but still when I look at knitting patterns my head says its too hard and does this boggly thing where I just put it back!!
I had a lovely mothers day despite being full of cold and feeling like S!*!, in the morning my Tom and Chris became chefs and cooked up a great breakfast, although I did keep smelling burning and nipping in the kitchen to see if they wanted help, I kept getting ushered out, I'm not a very good bystander when someone else is cooking!, I spent the day under my duvet on the sofa watching films and masterchef! Adam followed a recipe and made spaghetti and meatballs which was very delicious, really garlicky and I was impressed as he is 12! I stayed up with the little ones and we watched castaway under the duvet with the coal fire roaring and plenty of warm drinks.
Also before I go the lovely Gina over at a space of love is having a mother magazine give away which is great for all of us who haven't read it, I like the idea of try before you buy!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy mothers day to all you lovely mothers, hope you have a great day xxxxxx

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

this week I have been......

Buying bits and pieces for our home......
I saw this and it made me laugh because we never feel like a normal family especially as home schoolers and we are really quite daft so it is very apt!

Beautiful, vibrant spring time crocus', the sun has been shining and it really feels lovely to be looking at pretty spring flowers again....

we wrapped up and went to the beach, it was a lovely day but a bit nippy on the sea front, the boys spent ages rearranging rocks whilst we shared a flask of barley cup and took silly photos of us- which I won't share- think of the above cushion!! hehe x

Friday, 5 March 2010

Lancaster and spring at last!

Yippee the sun has finally returned in all its glory, what a beautiful few days it has been, we took the bus to Lancaster and it was a long lovely drive, we saw loads of sheep and a few lambs but for me because we live in a grey town, the green of the hills and trees made me feel so happy.We went to Williamson Park, which is Lancaster's biggest park high on a hill that overlooks the town and it was so clear we could see the lake district in the distance, the sea far off and Lancaster castle. We went to the top of the folly, a grand building that was built in 1909 by Lord Ashton, some say for his wife who died.
You can get married in Ashton memorial but I wouldn't fancy coming down the steps in a gown.
We went into the butterfly house and it was so hot but amazing seeing the huge butterflies, the boys however were taken with the turtles and sat for ages watching them bask on a rock.

This is an owl butterfly, it was bigger than my hand and it stayed in the same spot all the time we was in there.

Me outside after our picnic in the woodland, there were so many robins, blue tits and sparrows hopping around whilst we ate, birds singing in the background and warm sun flickering through the trees, it was such a lovely feeling to be outside and not freezing or in a rush to get home.
there are great hills and trees for climbing on, a park for younger ones and a lake that was still frozen, the park is that big we didn't see all of it, we went into the town to the museum because the boys like the metal soldier's!

I feel truly blessed that we had a good day and after a hot bath full of rose petals and some yoga
I slept like a log, happy spring xx

Monday, 1 March 2010

Manchester museum and bread

We went to Manchester museum, after missing the first train, forgetting my money, not realising the museum shuts early on a Monday so we had to leave early and miss loads plus standing all the way home on a very packed train, we did have a good day! We saw things like this HUGE crab and Darwin's life story, which helped us get a theme going for home school, ancient weapons and native American clothing, mummy's in the Egypt section, this cool new section with a wood and these huge flowers in jars, I loved the colour scheme and think it would look great in a bedroom or play room,
We looked around the animal part which houses loads of different species and we saw animals that I had never heard of before, we took pictures of the boys in the same spot as last time we came about 6 years years ago, when we came home we compared them to our original photos, you know I think its great having a digital camera but I do miss the excitement of taking a film in to be processed and when you go a few days later to pick them up and having a tangible thing to put in an album.

Tom loved it especially the wolf, I think the wolf is his spirit guide animal, mine I think is the polar bear, I read a book on it from the library and it is an interesting subject, I would love to look at it in more depth.

We didn't get to look at the living animals so we want to go back soon to finish it off. On the way to the museum on Oxford Rd we came across a vegetarian store and cafe - wow, I would love it to be nearer to home, it was so refreshing to not feel like the odd shopper and to see so many familiar items. We did a suma coop shop the other week and its been great, the only trouble is the storage of all the bulk packs, we have the tinest kitchen and so its all on shelves in our bedroom - how romantic!
The other thing I have been doing is using my bread maker - I really don't know why I didn't buy one sooner, its so good having fresh bread every day, the trouble is, it's so good we end up eating the full loaf for lunch!. I'm not very impressed with my slow cooker though, maybe I haven't got the hang of it or haven't used a good recipe yet but I find it a waste of time messing with it.
Still looking every chance I get for a house in the countryside to rent, we can't wait to move from here so the boys can have fresh air and space to run around, we would love to be somewhere green!